Thu, 28 May 2020

DUBLIN, Ireland - Ireland has joined other nations in Europe in putting a stop to European exports of arms to Turkey in the wake of that country's intervention in northeast Syria.

"I attended the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, where my EU counterparts and I agreed unanimously that all EU Member States would suspend arms exports to Turkey, given Turkey's unacceptable unilateral military action in northeast Syria," Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said Tuesday.

EU Foreign Ministers condemned Turkey's actions in Syria, which they say is undermining the stability of the region, will result in more civilian suffering and will make prospects for the UN-led peace process in Syria much more difficult.

"It also undermines progress made in the international fight against ISIS. I again urge Turkey to cease unilateral military action and withdraw its forces from Syria. Respect for international humanitarian law and unhindered humanitarian access are also vital," Coveney said.

"In response to Turkey's continued illegal drilling activity in Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone, EU Foreign Ministers also agreed a framework regime of restrictive measures, or sanctions, in respect of persons responsible for or involved in illegal drilling activity in the Eastern Mediterranean. Ireland and the EU stand in full solidarity with Cyprus and call on Turkey to respect its sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance with international law," the Irish foreign minister added.

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